Bureau Waardenburg
Varkensmarkt 9
4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
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Faunabeheerplan zomerganzen Zuid-Holland
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Management plan for resident geese in South-Holland

A number of species of geese have established resident breeding populations in the Netherlands. These populations are present in the area year-round and also breed within the Netherlands. During certain times of the year, particularly during and shortly after the breeding season, these geese may be a nuisance to farming. In the Dutch province of South-Holland, several species of geese are present in substantial numbers, namely: greylag, Canada, barnacle, Egyptian, white-fronted, bar-headed and feral/hybrid geese.

Over the past two decades the numbers of breeding geese have increased dramatically and correspondingly so have the problems. These problems not only include damage to agricultural areas but also to Nature 2000 sites, other wildlife, water quality and also increasing risks to air safety. To alleviate these conflicts, we are developing a management plan within the context of wildlife legislation. This project was commissioned by the wildlife management unit of South-Holland and the province South-Holland.

The wildlife management plan considers all parties involved: agriculture, conservation, the government and hunters. Extensive discussions with each on the issues involved led to a clear overview of the problems and the potential effectiveness of control measures. The management plan also considered the presence of wintering populations of geese in the area.

The information gathered about the populations of geese were modelled and a range of management scenarios considered. The most effective management options, such as reducing breeding success (through treating eggs) or survival (through culling), could be found. This approach resulted in the effective reduction in the number of resident geese to a level more akin to the carrying capacity of the area.

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